Open Burning under the Environmental Quality Act 1974
- Under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, there are provisions for open burning under the relevant Section:
- Section 29A -Prohibition on open burning
- Section 29AA – Exclusion from “open burning”
- Section 29B – Owner or occupier of premises responsible for open burning
- Section 29C – Defence.
- Open burning as defined under Section 29A (3), Environmental Quality Act 1974 is any fire, combustion or smouldering that occurs in the open air and which is not directed there through a chimney or stack, but does not include any fire, combustion or smouldering which specified as prescribed activities by the Minister as order published in the Gazette.
- Under the provisions of Sections 29A (1) and 29A (2), it provides for the prohibition of open burning that no person shall allow or cause open burning on any premises (including any land). Any person found committing open burning, the person can be fined not exceeding RM 500,000 or to imprisonment for not exceeding 5 years or both.
Orders Relating to Open Burning Under the Environmental Quality Act 1974
- Under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 there are 3 orders related to open burning:
- Environmental Quality (Delegation of Powers) (Investigation of Open Burning) Order 2000
- Environmental Quality (Delegation of Powers) (Perbadanan Putrajaya) Order 2002
- Environmental Quality (Declared Activities) (Open Burning) Order 2003
- There are several agencies that have been authorized to conduct open burning investigations as below:
Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM)
Forests, bushes and farms
Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH)
Residential/ construction area
Garbage Waste disposal area/ housing/ construction/ municipality/ road reserve and river reserve
Royal Malaysian Police
The premise of shabby goods
Federal territory of Putrajaya
Federal Territory of Labuan
Kuala Lumpur City Hall
Note: The investigation area for each agency is NOT limited to the specified area of operation only
Open Burn Detection
- The Department of the Environment detects and investigates cases of open burning through the following channels:
- Operational Patrol to Prevent Open Burning conducted on a daily basis by the Department of the Environment. These patrol activities will be enhanced during hot and dry weather;
- Complaints received by the public or other agencies through various channels such as telephone, email, eComplaints and so on; and
- Hotspots detected via satellite.
- The Department of Environment will investigate all hotspots detected by the NOAA20 satellite reported by the ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Center (ASMC). The ASMC is the reference party at the ASEAN level to monitor and assess land and forest fires as well as to monitor cross-border haze incidents that may occur in ASEAN countries.
- A hotspot is a pixel point detected by a satellite that indicates the probability of a fire. However, the detection of hotspots by satellites has some constraints as follows:
- False fire – satellites are likely to detect false fire and then report it as a hotspot. This false fire can occur when satellites detect heat sources from industrial activities such as boilers, flaring, and so on. Sunlight reflections or sunglint can also be observed as hotspots; and
- Cloud cover – thick cloud cover will cause the satellite to fail to detect the fire.
- More information on the hotspots reported by ASMC can be accessed on the ASMC website at the link https://asmc.asean.org/home/